BENGALURU: In the first such venture undertaken anywhere in the country on Indian Railways, a container train with 1012 tonnes of fresh fruit imported from abroad reached Bengaluru on Thursday morning. Apples, kiwifruit, apricots and cherries from Brazil, Iran and Europe reached the Inland Container Depot at Whitefield via Mumbai.
The Reefer Special operated by Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR), a public sector unit under Indian Railways, had 44 refrigerated containers with each one bearing 23 tonnes of fruit. They were transported from the rail yard inside the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai.
The special train left the Port at 12 noon on Tuesday and reached Whitefield at 10.40 am on Thursday without any stops en route.
Group General Manager, CONCOR, Bengaluru, Dr Anup Dayanand Sadhu told The New Indian Express, “This is the first time that transportation of fresh fruit has been attempted in the country using a reefer train and the experimental one has turned out to be very successful. There is a huge demand for fruit from abroad particularly in South India and we decided to cater to that demand.”
Leading fresh fruit importer in India IG Fresh International Private Limited had booked the consignment.
“This opens up a fantastic business opportunity for us as fresh fruit were transported by road earlier. CONCOR earned a revenue of Rs 25,21,000 in this maiden run. We will now be bringing one such Reefer Special every week,” the Group General Manager said.
The fruit are intended to be distributed across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. “Bengaluru will now serve as a hub to distribute them across all these regions,” he added.
Elaborating on the speciality of these cold storage containers, Sadhu said, “Each one runs to a length of 40 feet. The temperature is maintained between zero and two degrees inside each container. A common power car is provided for the entire rake and a staffer is responsible for monitoring the temperature conditions throughout the journey.”